If you observe an adult sea turtle or hatchling on the beach, please follow these do's and don'ts:
- DO report injured or dead turtles to Escambia County Marine Resources or the FWC Wildlife Alert Hotline.
- DO report turtles in dangerous situations (on a road, parking lot, or if it has wandered away from the beach) or turtles being harassed by beach-goers.
- DON'T approach crawling or nesting sea turtles. Watch from a respectful distance and avoid shining lights on or near the turtle. Nesting is a critical stage in a sea turtle's life cycle.
- DON'T handle hatchling sea turtles. If you observe hatchlings wandering away from the ocean or on the beach, call the Escambia County Marine Resources or the FWC Wildlife Alert Hotline immediately.
Hooked a Turtle? Don’t Cut the Line!
Anglers may accidentally hook a turtle while fishing. It’s important that you DON'T CUT THE LINE. The angler won’t be in trouble, but it’s important we get the turtle the proper attention.
Hooks and other gear left in a turtle’s body can cause short- and long-term harm. If entangled in a net or other debris, it may have prevented the turtle from feeding or behaving normally. It’s important to have them checked by qualified veterinary staff before being released.
If a turtle is hooked, keep the line in place. Contact Escambia County Marine Resources or if at Pensacola Beach Fishing Pier, contact the Pier Manager immediately. They will direct you on the next steps.